United States v. Real Property Located at 1188 Red Fern Lane, Augusta,west Virginia 26704

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff, v. Civil Action No. 22-2596 (JEB) REAL PROPERTY LOCATED AT 1188 RED FERN LANE, AUGUSTA, WEST VIRGINIA 26704, et al., Defendants in rem. MEMORANDUM OPINION The United States brought this forfeiture action in rem against Defendant properties previously owned by Kevin Ward, who is deceased. The Government alleges that Ward “defrauded KIPP DC charter schools, in violation of U.S. law concerning wire fraud and theft related to programs receiving federal funds,” ECF No. 17-1 (Pl. Mot. for DJ) at 3, “by submitting fraudulent invoices for computer products and related services,” id. at 5, and then “us[ing] the funds to purchase property in West Virginia, art and sports memorabilia, and multiple vehicles.” Id. at 2–3. As a result, the Government alleges that “[D]efendant properties are subject to forfeiture under 18 U.S.C. § 981(a)(1)(C) as proceeds of violations of 18 U.S.C. §§ 666 and 1343.” Id. at 2. The Clerk of Court entered default on August 21, 2023, see ECF Nos. 15 & 16, and Plaintiff now moves for default judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(b)(2). See Pl. Mot. for DJ. Because the United States has sufficiently demonstrated that the allegations in its Amended Complaint warrant such a judgment, the Court will grant the Motion. 1 I. Background Given the default in this case, the Court accepts the facts alleged in the Government’s Amended Complaint as true. KIPP DC is a charter-school network in the District of Columbia Public Schools system that “provides tuition-free public schooling for approximately 7,000 students” across 20 schools and eight campuses. See ECF No. 4 (Amend. Compl.), ¶ 11. From July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2021, KIPP DC received approximately $4.8 million in federal grants. Id. (approximately $1.4 million from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020, and $3.4 million from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021). In March 2020, when the District of Columbia ordered public schools to close at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, KIPP DC schools began transitioning to remote learning. Id., ¶ 13. To facilitate this, it “purchase[d] additional computer products, including laptops and tablets, and services for those products and for its network.” Id. Ward was the Senior Director of Technology for KIPP DC at this time and “was primarily responsible for the purchase and deployment” of computer products and services for KIPP DC. Id., ¶¶ 12–13. He remained in this role “until at least July 2021,” sometime after which he took a leave of absence and later “left [KIPP DC’s] employment.” Id., ¶ 12. The Government alleges that “[b]etween April 2020 and October 2021, Ward set up and controlled two shell companies, Tenret Tech and Vast Systems, DBA Tenret Tech.” Pl. Mot. for DJ at 4. As the Senior Director of Technology at KIPP DC, “Ward engaged in a scheme to defraud KIPP DC by submitting fraudulent invoices for computer products and related services, none of which were provided by Tenret …

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